Penalty shoot-out decides placing

GISBORNE Boys’ High School lost their playoff game in a penalty shoot-out at the Super 8 football tournament at Hastings last week.

It meant they finished sixth of the eight North Island high school teams taking part.

Since 1999, the highest Gisborne have finished at this tournament is fourth, in 2000.

They finished fifth in 2015, and in other years have finished either sixth, seventh or eighth. Last year they were sixth.

Gisborne had a tumultuous start to this year’s tournament, their players picking up three yellow cards and falling 4-0 behind against Tauranga Boys’ College in the first 20 minutes.

They got through the last 15 minutes of the half without conceding again, then in the second 35 minutes scored three goals — through Riaki Ruru, Rangi Moore and an own goal — and had Tauranga “on the ropes” at the end.

Coach Darren Larkins said the Gisborne players, having played all season in a senior competition, were used to a more robust style of play than were teams who played predominantly college football.

Tauranga finished third last year (and again last week), so this result gave the Gisborne players confidence that they were competitive in this company.

In the afternoon, Gisborne had an even contest against Palmerston North Boys’ High, but a lapse in concentration in the first minute and a penalty just before halftime meant they lost 2-0.

On Day 2, Gisborne beat Rotorua Boys’ High 2-0, through first-half goals to Andrew Brott and Ruru, but it could have been 6-0, Larkins said.

In an afternoon cross-over game with a team from the other group, Gisborne beat Hastings Boys’ High 3-0 after leading 2-0 at halftime.

“We scored our first goal against the run of play, but they had a few discipline problems and in the end it was a comfortable win,” Larkins said.

Goalscorers were Noy Paull, Campbell Hall and Ruru.

On Day 3, Gisborne had a fifth/sixth playoff against New Plymouth Boys’ High.

“They beat us 6-0 last year but this time we were all over them in the first 20 minutes,” Larkins said.

“They went 1-0 up against the run of play and led at halftime.

“Our centreback Lucian Nickerson equalised with a thundering header from a corner.”

With the score 1-1 at fulltime, the match went straight to penalties, and New Plymouth won the shoot-out 4-3.

Napier Boys’ High — who last year beat Gisborne on penalties in the fifth/sixth playoff — defeated Hamilton Boys’ High in the final.

Larkins said Year 13 centreback Nickerson was Gisborne’s player of the tournament.

Goalkeeper Jack Faulkner had a solid tournament, while attacking midfielder Ruru was the team’s top scorer with three goals.

Holding midfielder Brott and striker Hall scored two of the team’s best goals, Larkins said.

Against Rotorua, Brott was lurking outside the penalty area at an attacking corner. The ball was headed out and, from 25 metres, Brott sidefooted it into the top left corner of the goal.

Against Hastings, Hall got the ball in his own half, beat three or four players, stumbled, beat two more players and scored from the edge of the penalty area.

In the same game, centreback Reuben Mottart almost scored what would have been the goal of the tournament, Larkins said.

“He ran from the edge of our penalty area all the way to the edge of their penalty area and his shot was just wide. Reuben was our man of the match in that game.”

The whole team came together well, Larkins said.

Utility player Adam Donaldson worked hard in a variety of defensive and midfield positions, and Alex Larkins adjusted well to a change from midfield to rightback after the first game.

In midfield, Moore and Brott both had strong tournaments.

“It helped that we had a squad of 15, rather than the 12 we are able to scratch together for league games,” Larkins said.

“It meant we were able to try a few things and mix it up.

“It’s also worth noting that we had only four Year 13 players, whereas some schools put out teams made up entirely of Year 13 players.”

GISBORNE Boys’ High School lost their playoff game in a penalty shoot-out at the Super 8 football tournament at Hastings last week.

It meant they finished sixth of the eight North Island high school teams taking part.

Since 1999, the highest Gisborne have finished at this tournament is fourth, in 2000.

They finished fifth in 2015, and in other years have finished either sixth, seventh or eighth. Last year they were sixth.

Gisborne had a tumultuous start to this year’s tournament, their players picking up three yellow cards and falling 4-0 behind against Tauranga Boys’ College in the first 20 minutes.

They got through the last 15 minutes of the half without conceding again, then in the second 35 minutes scored three goals — through Riaki Ruru, Rangi Moore and an own goal — and had Tauranga “on the ropes” at the end.

Coach Darren Larkins said the Gisborne players, having played all season in a senior competition, were used to a more robust style of play than were teams who played predominantly college football.

Tauranga finished third last year (and again last week), so this result gave the Gisborne players confidence that they were competitive in this company.

In the afternoon, Gisborne had an even contest against Palmerston North Boys’ High, but a lapse in concentration in the first minute and a penalty just before halftime meant they lost 2-0.

On Day 2, Gisborne beat Rotorua Boys’ High 2-0, through first-half goals to Andrew Brott and Ruru, but it could have been 6-0, Larkins said.

In an afternoon cross-over game with a team from the other group, Gisborne beat Hastings Boys’ High 3-0 after leading 2-0 at halftime.

“We scored our first goal against the run of play, but they had a few discipline problems and in the end it was a comfortable win,” Larkins said.

Goalscorers were Noy Paull, Campbell Hall and Ruru.

On Day 3, Gisborne had a fifth/sixth playoff against New Plymouth Boys’ High.

“They beat us 6-0 last year but this time we were all over them in the first 20 minutes,” Larkins said.

“They went 1-0 up against the run of play and led at halftime.

“Our centreback Lucian Nickerson equalised with a thundering header from a corner.”

With the score 1-1 at fulltime, the match went straight to penalties, and New Plymouth won the shoot-out 4-3.

Napier Boys’ High — who last year beat Gisborne on penalties in the fifth/sixth playoff — defeated Hamilton Boys’ High in the final.

Larkins said Year 13 centreback Nickerson was Gisborne’s player of the tournament.

Goalkeeper Jack Faulkner had a solid tournament, while attacking midfielder Ruru was the team’s top scorer with three goals.

Holding midfielder Brott and striker Hall scored two of the team’s best goals, Larkins said.

Against Rotorua, Brott was lurking outside the penalty area at an attacking corner. The ball was headed out and, from 25 metres, Brott sidefooted it into the top left corner of the goal.

Against Hastings, Hall got the ball in his own half, beat three or four players, stumbled, beat two more players and scored from the edge of the penalty area.

In the same game, centreback Reuben Mottart almost scored what would have been the goal of the tournament, Larkins said.

“He ran from the edge of our penalty area all the way to the edge of their penalty area and his shot was just wide. Reuben was our man of the match in that game.”

The whole team came together well, Larkins said.

Utility player Adam Donaldson worked hard in a variety of defensive and midfield positions, and Alex Larkins adjusted well to a change from midfield to rightback after the first game.

In midfield, Moore and Brott both had strong tournaments.

“It helped that we had a squad of 15, rather than the 12 we are able to scratch together for league games,” Larkins said.

“It meant we were able to try a few things and mix it up.

“It’s also worth noting that we had only four Year 13 players, whereas some schools put out teams made up entirely of Year 13 players.”

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